Sergeant Troy lives without much thought for the past or future, beyond yesterday or tomorrow. He, is then, largely content, never disappointed as a result of expectations. He is truthful to men but a liar to women, which helps win him popularity in society. Though he has vices, none is horrible, so people’s disapproval usually comes with a smile. While he’s always active, he never has one particular direction. He speaks well as a result of his good education, and is able to speak of one thing while thinking of another—of dinner while flattering a woman, for instance. He believes one must other flatter women or curse and swear at them: no middle way.
The narrator gives us a character sketch of Bathsheba’s final suitor, as he did for Gabriel and for Boldwood. Troy may seem like a mere trickster, cheerful and benign, but his lack of integrity—the ease at which he switches from truth to lie and manipulates people to his advantage—suggests that there is a greater danger and potential conflict lying beneath his smooth surface, even if general opinion can’t perceive that.
A week or two after the shearing, Bathsheba is at her hayfields watching Coggan and Clark mowing when she sees Troy appear in the distance. He has come to help in the hay-making just out of pleasure. When he enters the field he sees her and walks toward her: Bathsheba flushes in embarrassment.
Bathsheba is in her regular position of caretaker and figure of authority, but her sense of cool confidence is ruffled by the man who knew so well how to unsettle and flatter her.